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Excellent news!!

March 9th, 2015 at 10:46 pm

My husband has full time employment, with benefits! Also, I spent so much time working my butt off last year we actually got a tax return that helped to improve our lives. Now with a regular income and plenty of hard work, we have 4 goats, a pig that we are growing for food, and are looking at a new barn soon. It will be a tiny one, but good enough for us. I am so delighted!!

July 4th sunk me

July 7th, 2014 at 01:11 pm

Ugh! Why do I do this to myself?

First off, I bought groceries $49.45 and don't ya know they were gone in a day! Then I got gas, another $47.32. Also gone before the weekend was up. Then I had to get wood chips for the animals and goats feed...another $30 gone.

We went to a free pool but dear hubby wanted to get the kids a snack, $50 later it was more like dinner delivered pool side. So much for free swimming. He likes to buy more now that he is working. Frown

Then on the way home "Oh mama, mamma fireworks half off." Yes, I caved, $10 down the drain.

$200 gone in what, a day! How am I ever going to get ahead spending money like this. I showed my husband how much lower our account was and he shrugged, "It will be taken care of dear." I know it will, but why does it have to go so fast?

Hubby's first week of work done!

July 3rd, 2014 at 06:23 pm

This is his first week and he survived. It is a very physically demanding job. First I noticed his pudge is a bit less in just three days. I also noticed he is eating twice as much. He is actually losing weight while he eats more. He comes home in pain and sore. It's worth it though, he says.

He is making $9 an hour before taxes. He drives only 7 miles to and from work. He works 10 hour shifts four days a week. According to http://mustachecalc.com/ his real hourly wage is $6.84. That is a lot better than my measly $0.24 an hour real hourly wage.

We plan to pay off the credit cards. We have already paid off the care credit card from buying my daughter glasses. It was a small amount on there. We also added an extra $60 to our Amazon card. We want to pay off the Matrix card completely and get rid of it in the next 4 months. We just hope that he gets hire done full time at the plant instead of as just a temp.

My husband has temporary work finally

June 30th, 2014 at 07:48 pm

He found some work!

It's temporary though. He is working in a position for a temp agency. The position is soon to be made redundant by the company due to automation. However it could be a few months before that happens. This may see us through the summer. I am still working like mad as a writer. Loving many of the jobs I get now. I have established myself with a few agencies and they seem to like my work. I write ads, so nothing glorified, but definitely up my alley.

The tomatoes are starting to wilt and yellow. Does anyone know why this would happen? We fertilized with fish emulsion, but nothing is improving.

The beans are still going and the okra. My peppers are limping along. Pulled some shallots the other day. So delicious.

If things pick up we can finally start paying off teh credit card debt! Woo hoo right?

Been working hard

June 28th, 2014 at 12:29 am

and I got rewarded ...... Drum roll Please

I made $46 in one day writing! Whoa right? How many writers do that just starting out. Of course I worked 12 hours straight.

We have a baby goat that is very healthy and happy. We have green beans coming on, squash, and some tomatoes. I have one okra with fruit on it. Very excited, being on the cusp of so much deliciousness.

I have cleared 5 beds. I have a few more to clear and then we replant in mid August for a winter bed. Probably more potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, beets, turnips, and things. I can live on those. Actually we have been.

Also, super duper awesome dawsome news, we got a contract for almost 500 bucks a month on top of my writing stuff! Plus my husband might have found work. God I hope so, working my tail off like this leaves little time to garden, cook, or preserve.

I had heat exhaustion.

June 22nd, 2014 at 04:01 pm

I spent the last two days recovering from heat exhaustion. I sent my doctors note to my clients. Two cancelled their orders instead of waiting literally 72 hours until I could finish their jobs. Some people are ....not worth the time.

Good news!

June 15th, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Well first, I got my medication, at least the most important one. I couldn't afford the rest. I did a little job for a client that normally has me work. The extra cash was just enough to get one medication.

I sold one more book. The first one of Bringing Up Baby, I believe. That or the second one. Either way, I was super ecstatic.

Work picked up a little more. No where near enough to make up for the $800 dollar short fall, but that's ok. I found another way to make up for it.

We happen to have a lot growing in the garden now.

Our beet bed.

Our turnip bed after we pulled about 5 pounds of turnips for the weeks dinners. We chopped the greens and froze them for our soups.

Our onion haul two days ago. We chopped up all the green onion bits and froze it for soups. The little onions are being used in everything from Mexican food to caramelized onions for snacks for the kids. It's basically onions fried in very little oil to caramelize the outside of it. A very tasty snack. We also made eggplant Parmesan with our onions. We didn't have Parmesan though, but it tasted fine.

I have been pulling from the garden a lot to supplement our food budget so I spend less. Well I went through everything we had in the house and made a meal plan. I believe, at least for the next month, we should get by without buying any food. It will be tough. We will have to eat beans a lot when the garden doesn't bless us. Beans are good anyway though. I usually buy more butter and things when the goat isn't producing a lot. This should free up more money for about a month. After that we will have eaten down every last store and only have what we produce, so hopefully money picks up soon.

Unfortunately we do not produce enough to live on exclusively. It does make up a lot of our diet in the summer, but until the green beans take off and the okra is setting and the tomatoes are ready to drop we will just won't be able to do it. It's awfully cold here now, so they aren't wanting to grow like usual. My peppers are dying. My tomatoes are beautiful, but only 3 of the 22 plants are setting. My okra are growing, but slowly. The green beans had to be trellised already, so they may take off soon. My squash and cucumbers all came in, but aren't setting fruit yet. We should have some potatoes soon and that will be fine. Other than that, we have fields of beans. They take 90 days and they have been in only 30. Plus no guarantee they will set right also. The weather has been so weird. I like it, I just need to learn to grow better I guess.

I found a few things to sell on eBay, but none of them are doing well. I assume the items I chose are not that popular.

Now we are set back even further

June 11th, 2014 at 12:35 am

I was making progress. We had money coming in. I was working a little as a writer. I got sick and missed a days work, but that isn't the worst of it. The worst is we just lost $800 a month in income. It's complicated, it's likely to be temporary, but it's going to sting.

I have been on edge all day. I went to the doctor and got my medication prescribed, but haven't been able to get it filled. I take blood pressure medication, thyroid medication, and blood sugar medication. I'm not really worried about any of them except the blood pressure medicine as it gets really high without it. Like 205 over 95 high. Really high. It's partially due to my thyroid still not being in check. My stomach is doing back flips. If I don't get my medication soon, I may have some serious issues. How can I find the money when half of our income is gone, just like that.

I am doing everything I can to replace this lost income. I know we can make it. We have before, but man if the world doesn't have some crappy timing. I'm looking for things to sell so I can raise a few dollars before I run out completely. I am hoping something comes through on my writing gigs...but that money is slower. It takes 2 weeks for it to clear.

I have a husband. He has been employed regular like 9 months out of the past 6 years. I have had a job more than him. Sometimes I get frustrated. I imagine men that work for a living must feel this way. How many working men have to cook, clean, menu plan, grocery shop, garden, sew, and home school their kids though?

Let me stop right there. Complaining will do nothing. I love my husband even if he does not rise to the challenges that life hands him like I do. Perhaps that is why I am his wife, to keep him from drowning.

An opportunity I can't afford...and I can't afford to miss.

June 8th, 2014 at 11:18 pm

My daughter Aukxsona was one of five children selected to go to a special camp for children with disabilities.

She has transverse myelitis.

Transverse Myelitis is a rare condition where the spinal cord has pieces missing. As you noticed in that picture she is standing. She can walk too now. She is a miracle in so many ways. When she was a baby she didn't walk and until she was six years old she hopped around. She fell down so much, it scared me to let her walk so I had to hold her hand as she hopped about. She had trouble toilet training and just recently got out of training pants. She couldn't walk well enough to get to the bathroom and her pelvic muscles were to weak to retain the urine. She now walks with braces that hide under her pants and goes to the toilet like a regular girl. She still can't feel her feet, but thanks to Shriner's she is getting better every day.

She is even being sponsored to go, the Transverse Mylelitis Association will sponsor her costs to go. However, they require a caregiver to go and the caregiver must pay $1200 to go. I thought the care giver might be sponsored as well..since it is a requirement for the child to go. Unfortunately it is not.

Does anyone have any idea how I can raise this money to go with her before August 9th? I know it seems so frivolous, but this is a huge opportunity and I really do not want her to miss it. She will be with other children like her, horse back riding, kayaking, zip lining. She will also have a chance to meet the director of the international Neurorehabilitation Institute and the assistant professor of Neurology from John Hopkins.

Working hard to stay in the same place?

June 3rd, 2014 at 02:53 pm

What is it when you get to a certain place only to spin your wheels at that point? I feel like I am doing that now. I have been writing articles for $5 a pop over on fiverr.com. I love what I do, but I'm not very fast at writing. I can only seem to get 5 one thousand word articles done in an 8 hour day. Of course, I only actually get $4 per article, so I am making about $20 a day for 6 to 8 hours of work. I'm not complaining! I am thankful to have work at all. We were living on much less. I just wish I could become better or faster at it. It really depends on the subject matter.

So I was thinking of selling off a bunch of stuff on ebay. My husband had great success with selling a Mantis tiller so far. In the end it sold for over $140. We are so excited, thankful, and blessed. I paid the water bill with it. My youngest son needed new shoes and now he will get some. We also got some staples we sorely needed like tea.

The yard is beautiful and the cactus are in bloom.

The baby goat is growing fine and her mamma is still giving plenty of milk. We should be rich in milk before long. I pulled off just enough to make a little goat cheese this past week. I don't dare pull off much more because I want the baby to have plenty of milk.

We just pulled a ton of onions that look oh so delicious. We had a few in soup and salad.

My tomato plants are starting to put on some small tomatoes. I'm very excited.

What Joy! I have more writing gigs and more food coming in!

May 26th, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I have 5 writing gigs already this week and ebay may turn out to be a life saver for this week. My writing gigs are about family things which I love doing. We are selling a tiller someone gave my husband. It wasn't working when it came here, but in 5 minutes he had it fixed up. Then he started it up and tilled my garden beds.

That is the tiller. We put it up for $42 on ebay about 2 days ago. It is now at $98. My husband is really good at fixing things, but he never got certified. He just tinkers with things until they work. He likes it. It is like a puzzle that his mind enjoys solving. Anyway, he said this was an easier problem to solve. We told the person that gave it to us that is was fixed, but they said we could keep it anyway. They had bought a new tiller already. She also gave us another, larger tiller that my husband believes he can fix with a couple bucks.

My sun chokes are already bushing. I planted them by the house this year, but the old patch is still going strong. I must have missed a few! They are growing like weeds and thank heavens too! The ones that we replanted near the house have not grown at all. I have no idea why. Here is a pretty picture of them.

Hope you have a wonderful day.

Baby Goat!

May 17th, 2014 at 11:31 pm

This week our goat gave birth and she has come into fresh milk of the sorts I could not believe possible. We had to stave off mastitis when the kid would not suckle, by milking her every three hours and bottle feeding the newborn kid. All excess milk was given to the numerous baby critters on our little homestead. We will not collect milk for ourselves until the colostrum is clear from her.

We put down two new beds and planted tomatoes. Tomorrow I hope to get in more tomatoes and some peppers. My husband was given two non-functioning tillers as payment for weed eating a woman's yard. We have no idea what they are worth, but suspect we could get $10 to $30 from the junkyard. My husband spent all afternoon tinkering on them and got the little one to working. He said something about a valve? Anyway, we intend to sell the little one to get his payment for working. How much is a little Mantis Tiller worth second hand anyway?

Annual Budget PART 2

May 9th, 2014 at 03:49 am

I sure have been busy! I am still working on that annual budget, but that's not all.

I picked up extra work this week. I was accepted to "hang out my shingle" at another company while I work for the one I am with now.

The weather won't let me plant and that is infuriating. I have Jerusalem artichokes coming up...I thought I lost them all. I am so pleased, they truly are a survival food. I also planted some pretty fancy dandelions. We are going to try dandelion greens this year, from a dedicated organic patch. Saving the seeds is super easy and makes fo0r a fun afternoon with the kids. (Trying to keep them from blowing away)

The goat will be giving birth soon, you can tell now! Her mucous plug came out yesterday.

We went through all the clothes and turned the ruined pants into shorts for this summer. I got rid of all teh stained and whole filled shirts too. They make great rags for cleaning.

We also went fishing and had a great time. The kids didn't catch anything though. Something kept grabbing a hold onto my line and snapping it. My line was only for 4 pounds, so it could have been anything.

Annual Budget

May 6th, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Today, after my husband lost his job and my hours were dropped, I decided to remake the annual budget. I found that we have more month than money and more year than money too, but luckily I have ideas to make that work.

First we owed back taxes on our house, so I junked my old truck that was falling apart and worth less than it would cost to replace just one part that needed replaced. I got $407 for it. I took the $407 and paid my tax bill for my house. Now I just need $110 more by June 1st to pay off the tax bill for the year. I anticipate being able to pay that off.

Second, I joined a gig site called fiverr.com. I have made $44 in the past 9 days. That's not a lot of money, but considering we are in the negative here, it was worth it to me.

When going through our expenses, I found we haven't been using what money we do have to the absolute best of our abilities. Part of my motivation for selling the old junked up truck was to reduce my annual tax bill by $20, to eliminate the $28 a month for insurance, and to make sure I didn't have something lying around going to waste.

I also found that we pay a heck of a lot more for electricity than most people in our area do. I assume it is due to the amount of usage, so I will be looking into dropping that.

I think, if I implement everything I am planning, we will have enough money for the month and maybe a little to set back.

Cookbooks for the frugalminded

April 30th, 2014 at 12:38 am

Free cookbooks from a genius in the kitchen and with money


Doing better...

July 26th, 2011 at 12:21 pm

What a difference a month makes. No, I am not employed full-time. I still have the same job making the same low pay. However, two things have changed.

First, I have been able to find 200 dollars from a lawsuit. More like the attorney found it for me. This paid for groceries. It was like manna from heaven when it came.

Second, our machinery is working! Finally, we will be putting in our fall garden in the next week. It was not an arm and a leg to fix, because my husband fixed it. We did need a 25 dollar part. This took a considerable amount of time to find also.

Finally some of you had questions and suggestions. I will handle the questions first. We grow food for our family, with an option to sell at the farmer's market. We never have as of yet, since I have a large family that gobbles up everything before I can sell or preserve it. I blame that on under planting, which means, I the farmer is to blame.

That is why we were opening up an extra acer. We knew we needed more land planted to make more food. I have grown things as John Jeavons suggested, so I know about intensive agriculture and organic agriculture. I also know, with out a lot of animals on site, it requires a lot of inputs. We currently do not have any goats, cows, or the like on site. We are looking into a Jersey cow or Water Buffalo, but they cost thousands.

Finally, moving is out of the question for one simple reason. I have a large family. The reason I had to move in the middle of no where is due in part to my large family. When we lived in the city, I needed to find an apartment. I asked around and the first thing every landlord wanted to know is how many kids. Once they heard I had 3, they all refused to rent to me. Now I have 6.

Plus, my house is paid off. I don't have to pay rent. I can't imagine being much better off after rent was removed from my pay.

Finally a Turker, is someone that works on Mechanical Turk. It's like the temp site of the world on the internet. The pay is low, usually. The days are long. Your lucky if you bring home 100 a month. Most people assume people in "other" countries work there, because the pay is so low.

So what is happening now? Well, we have food. I am so happy to say that. We have enough for a bit now. I have gotten more telephone work, like I was hoping in June. Not a lot more, but I can tell the difference.

Now I am looking to cut back. How frugal is too frugal? I was looking at how much my electricity costs, and it is outrageous. 150 USD per month in the summer. Imagine, if that were brought down by a quarter.

I have my electricity through a co-op. I love my co-op, but I don't love some of their policies. For example, some of the people working their refuse to tell me what policies they have written for delinquent accounts, why they are charging me a "connection fee" of 50 cents a day, etc...

The lowest bill I ever had was 75 USD. That was for a black out of 2 weeks. Half of that bill was delivery fees, taxes, and connection fees. (Even though I had no electricity for 2 weeks) For reference, a normal bill in the winter is 100 USD. I think they ripped me a new one on that. How can I lower my bills, with all these fees? Should I leave my co-op?